Where does UpdraftPlus save its Backups?

Where does UpdraftPlus save the backup files, if none of the multitude of cloud storage offerings is used?

Not wishing to use an external storage location, such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. I configured UpdraftPlus to save the file locally, within the website space.

The question is “Where does UpdraftPlus save its backup files?

To understand this I logged into the control panel for the website domain and navigated through the file system.

I was lucky I looked within the wp-content directory first, where I found an updraft sub-directory.

PpdrafPplus backup file save directory

As the image above shows within the /wp-content/updraft directory are to be found the UpdraftPlus backups.

In case your website gets compromised you may wish to login occasionally to download these backups.

Better still use one of the external storage services to keep a backup of your website. Unfortunately these could also get deleted, so its still worth keeping a local backup copy.

 

 

 

Adding a New Product to a WooCommerce shop/catalogue

1. Introduction

WooCommerce is a highly customisable shop/cataloguing plug-in.  Details on usage are provided directly via the following references

https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/managing-products/

https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/variable-product/

https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/related-products-up-sells-and-cross-sells/

https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/linking-a-project-to-a-product/

The text below is an overview which may be helpful, however if in doubt, refer to the official WooCommerce documentation

Having logged into your WooCommerce enabled WordPress CMS site the Woocommerce features/options are found in the left hand menu.

  • The WooCommerce menu item covers overall configuration and available options.
  • The Products menu item covers the shop/catalogue content.

To add or edit the products, select Products to expand the available options, followed by the Add Products menu item.

WooCommerce add new product menu add product

  • select Products to see a list of all products currently loaded into the shop/catalogue
  • select Add Product to add an individual product to the shop/catalogue will be listed.
    • note:  WooCommerce does not include bulk import by default, however import plugins are available to  enable bulk import from csv.

2. Navigating the Add Product menu item

Having selected add product you are presented with a number of fields to add product information.

WooCommerce add new product: Add new product page view

  1. Content Area: This is the main content for the product description
  2. Hover over a product to show the possible actions: edit, quick edit and view

edit: takes you to the details page for the selected product, enabling you to update product details as required.

quick edit: takes you to a subset of fields such as price, product category, product availability to enable fast management of the list of products

view: provides a preview of how the product is listed in your shop/catalogue.

3. Adding a new Product

To add a new product either click on Add Product shown at the top of the image above, or click on Add Product from the menu. You are presented with a number of field options and menus:

  1. Product Data type drop down menu: enables the product to be defined as Simple, Grouped or Variable
    • Simple Product: a self contained, single item,
    • Grouped Product: whereby the individual product is detailed, but will be sold as part of a defined group.
    • Variable Product: enables a product to be defined with variations; for example a t-shirt having different colours, or shoes with different sizes.  The product data for a variable product will automatically become the umbrella data for 2 or more additional products – the variants. Selecting Variable product automatically adds a new tab “Variations”. The screen shot below shows the options available for variations – for example product colour.
      To add the variation product, select the attributes tag, adding your variations (for example different colours), then visit the variations tab to select the colour and add the variation, giving the colour variation a unique sku:WooCommerce add new product: variable product variations
  2. Product Data management tabs menu: enables product information to be added under a fixed set of categories:  General, Inventory, Shipping, details on Linked Products and Attributes (specific product details).
    • General: set the price which you will charge for the product.WooCommerce add new product: general
    • Inventory: Add a SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) reference entry to uniquely identify your product. The Stock Status entry may be used to indicate stock level, from  “in stock” to an actual number, using the Manage Stock option.
    • WooCommerce add new product: inventory
    • shipping: Package size for shipping. Leave alone unless you wish to define the shipping box of the product.
    • WooCommerce add new product: shipping
    • Linked Products:  Linked products allow other products to be shown according to the selected item – perhaps similar items or “often bought with” items.  Linked products works in 3 ways:
      • Up-sells – enabling a more expensive product to be highlighted as an alternative to the selected product.  To add up-sell products:
        • create your product as a simple product
        • then create a new product which will incorporate these
        • under product data select simple product and the linked products tab, add products into up-sells
      • Cross-sells – a chance to sell an additional product. Bought a phone – why not add a case?
      • Grouping – set this to group the product with other items.
    • WooCommerce add new product: linked prodcts
    • Attributes:  An option to define additional custom properties.  If you specialise in a particular range of products then additional details may be appropriate. For example a painting may warrant water colour, oils, width /height and canvas.
    • WooCommerce add new product: attributes
    • Advanced: Additional options to enable a note to be sent to the customer with the purchase, to set the menu order and to enable customers to review products.

WooCommerce add new product: advanced

3. Generic product details

Accessed from the right hand panel, the generic product details are important to categorise and display your product information in the shop/catalogue

Product Categories: Enable you to associate your product with a particular category(ies).  These categories are used when displaying products.

Product Tags: A way to add an extra level of categorisation. Tags can be a great way of promoting products/website pages.

Product Image: A single large image is shown to represent the product. The image is uploaded in the usual way, either my selecting from the media images already in the library or by adding a new image from the local computer.

Product Gallery: If you wish to show more than one image then add more here.

Product Short Description: Does what it says, provides a short summary description about the product on list pages. Shown prior to clicking through to the full product details.

END

WooCommerce Sort by Custom Field

Modify the WooCommerce catelogue ordering to sort using your own custom field.

Rather than taking the products by alphabetical order, or whatever, I wanted to be able to fine tune the ordering and be more specific.

I chose to add a custom field to the WooCommerce shop products. This would then be used as my sort argument.

WooCommerce sort by custom field

Shown in the image above is the extra field called seq_num. To fit products in between each other the number given can be to a fine graduation.

To give the custom ordering based upon the custom field value I tweaked the WooCommerce function woocommerce_get_catalog_ordering_args.

Here’s the addition to the functions.php file

add_filter('woocommerce_get_catalog_ordering_args', 'woocommerce_get_custom_ordering_args');

function woocommerce_get_custom_ordering_args( $args ) {
$args['order'] = 'ASC';
$args['meta_key'] = 'seq_num';
$args['orderby'] = 'meta_value_num';
return $args;
}

Hide WooCommerce Category Page Title

A WordPress website with the popular WooCommerce plugin shows a page title, automatically generated according to the category page being viewed.

For a WordPress website I was looking to remove the page title from view.

Hide the Category page title using CSS or programmatically with WooCommerce filters?

Often, the simple approach to hiding website content is to set the enveloping DIV’s CSS display setting to none.

The changes are made within the theme’s skin.css file. The file can be accessed from the WordPress admin view. Click on Appearance in the left menu and then select Editor. Usually the file opened is the file we’re interested in skin.css. But do check. Make your changes and click on the blue Update File button.

Looking at the page source the WooCommerce category title is a simple header, with a class of page-title, which can be used.

<h1 class=”page-title>Apples</h1>

To hide this category title with CCS the class is added to the theme’s style.css file, with the setting for the display:

.page-title{display:none;}

Dependant upon how your WordPress theme has been defined, you may need to further expand on the class path, or add important! to ensure the extra setting over rides and I’d implemented.

.page-title{display:none important!;}

Historically there have been issues regards hiding page content, making it only visible to search engines.

Most notable was the era when keywords were stuffed into a page, with many invisible to the visitor, but visible and targeting the search engine indexing robots.

From this stems the idea that hiding content should be taken with care. But note, menu items are hidden until the parent is hovered over. There are also effects such as sliders and moving imagery. These are accepted as website feature and expectations.

Looking to the future, when the new website theme has been completed and is operational. With the WooCommerce category title hidden programmatically in the functions.php file it is as a clear action, alongside of which sits appropriate commentary. With the inclusion in the CSS file of the title hiding, there is more chance of it being undone and shown, by accident on the future.

An alternative is to edit the WooCommerce template files. This can be the original plugin files, or a copy placed within the theme. A better a approach one which won’t be overwritten the next time the plugin is updated. However, occasionally there are changes to the WooCommerce templates which.

Whilst the WooCommerce category title may be hidden using CSS, I think a better approach is to do it programmatically, interacting with the WooCommerce variable values and hooks.
To hide the WooCommerce category title programmatically let’s begin by looking at the file generating the title output. The file of interest is

 /wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/templates/archive-product.php

We wish to override the section:

<?php if ( apply_filters( 'woocommerce_show_page_title', true ) ) : ?>
<h1 class="page-title"><?php woocommerce_page_title(); ?></h1>
<?php endif; ?>

by adding our override code in our functions.php located within the child theme being developed:

/wp-content/themes/child-theme/functions.php

As can be seen the header has a test to check whether woocommerce_show_page_title is true of false.

To hide the title set the value to false. I added the following line in the functions.php file:

add_filter(‘woocommerce_show_page_title’,false);

I would favour editing the functions.php file over changing the CSS.

Making the changes in the functions.php file is more repeatable. A single line within the functions.php file. But the CSS approach may require further adaptation to ensure its implemented, dependent upon the wrapping of the title on the page and CSS precedence.

If you are making the edit changes via the WordPress appearance editor menu option. Making the changes to the CSS style.css file is probably your safest option. An error in your spelling may have an effect on the appearance of the website but it won’t be catastrophic, it can be really edited and corrected. However, misspelling the addition of content to the functions.php file may render your website a white screen.

WordPress Exclude Subdirectory

By default WordPress considers all files and directories from the installed directory to be under its control.

For a website I had installed WordPress in the root of the website file structure.

Subsequently I wished to install another program suite within a subdirectory.

I had no desire for files missing within this directory to be reported as a WordPress website 404 error.

To exclude the subdirectory called gallery from the WordPress website I added a rewrite condition to the..htaccess file within the root of the website.

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/?gallery

Giving:

# BEGIN WordPress
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/gallery
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
# END WordPress

With the addition of an additional RewriteCond statement I was able to exclude a subdirectory from inclusion in the existing WordPress website.

References

https://www.sitepoint.com/community/t/ignore-a-folder-using-htaccess/4306

https://wordpress.org/support/topic/wp-20-htaccess-overly-aggressive-404s-galore/

Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance

Whilst updating plugins or the core WordPress I have encountered the message:

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Try again in a minute.

WordPress is put into maintenance mode whilst certain actions are made.

Don’t worry – take a look after 5 or 10 minutes.

I have found that being patient can be all that’s required.

Edit Ditty News Ticker Plugin Entry

Updating the Ditty News ticker, which typically scrolls across the top of the page.

Log in to the site, and select the dashboard

  • Once in this admin mode, note the left hand menu,
  • Select News Tickers from this menu

The News Tickers page shows any/all configured News Tickers for your site. If you don’t have any News Tickers, look again to the left hand menu and select add new

  • note the box “Enter Title Here”.  It is good practice to give all News Tickers a title.

In the example below there is one news ticker shown, it has the title “Page Top“.

Ditty News Ticker summary list

Hover the mouse over the news ticker title (“page top”) to bring up all permitted options,

  • Click on  edit to enable editing for the Page top news ticker

Ditty News Ticker edit entry

Look for the “Ticker Text box”. In the image it is showing 23rd June: next team practice.

  • Ticker text content is referred to as a Tick; update your tick (text) as needed
  • Look for the blue Update box on the right hand side of the page.  No change will become active until you click this update box, noting that once you click Update you can’t revert back.
    • Note: you can add a URL to the ticker if required: tip – visit the URL then copy/paste the URL link into the URL box.
  • You may also wish to link to a post or page on your website. Visit the respective page or post and copy the website address. Post this into the box bellow the text content. Choose whether you wish to open the clicking of the link in a new window _blank or to follow through _self.

Heart Internet add Scheduled Tasks wp-cron

Looking at websites hosted with Heart Internet I found that they were not running the scheduled tasks.

WordPress websites were failing to action the security updates and scheduled backups didn’t happen.

By default a website hosted with Heart Internet needs to have scheduled tasks configured. With a new hosting package the scheduled task details aren’t filled in. Therefore timed events don’t occur.

heart-internet-add-cron-with-scheduled-task-icon

The image above shows the scheduled task icon within the web tools section.

Click on this icon to set and configure the command to be run.

heart-internet-add-cron-add-run-command

The cron maybe re-enabled by adding the following reference, note change example.com to your own domain name:

/usr/bin/php5 /home/sites/example.com/public_html/wp-cron.php

Scroll down and click on the Update button to save your changes.

Missing Scheduled Task Icon

Is your scheduled task icon missing?

heart-internet-add-cron-no-scheduled-task-icon

Whether the scheduled task icon is shown is an option associated with the hosting package definitions.

To add the icon for a single website. Login to the Heart Internet Reseller Control Centre. Open the Manage Hosting Accounts and Edit the website’s hosting features.chose the assigned package.

On the second page the icon is shown within the Account Utilities section. Tick it to enable and click on Next at the bottom of this page and Edit Package and the bottom of the next.

heart-internet-add-cron-add-scheduled-task-option

Once enabled the icon will show in the package for the domain

Similarly the icon can be added under the package editor. On the Reseller Control Centre page, select Configure Hosting Package Types, from the Manage Web Hosting section.

Select your package from the list and proceed as before.

Schedule Timing

Looking to avoid creating all my schedules to run on the hour, as everyone else. I set my website backup to occur on the half hour, as opposed to the default hour.

However, I found that in so doing the backup was not occurring, despite it previously working.

Within WordPress I found configuring one of the popular backup plugins that I also had to match the hourly schedule. Setting the timing to a different minute meant that the backup schedule failed to trigger.

Using WordPress to Record How to Perform Tasks

Do you use your WordPress blog only for public viewing?

Why not use your blog to record and save details about tasks, actions and equipment?

Of course care should be taken when storing sensitive information on the website. If access to the website was gained by others

Take care not to record sensitive information in this way. Not only is there the risk that access can be gained to the website by nefarious people or robots, but the post could easily be published with the wrong permissions, public as opposed to private.

WordPress allows posts to be assigned to a private mode, restricting those who are able to read the post.

If you are a business, club or organisation, private information can be kept on restricted pages of the website.

It’s easy to find information when you are in the office. Recording information on your WordPress blog as private restricted access blog posts can make them available when traveling out and about.

Handy tips may be stored relating to handling a piece of equipment or software. Perhaps details about accessing locations, parking, the best access road, where to buy a coffee.

Do you have an item of equipment which would benefit from recording a step by step method? Details about how you do it as opposed to the manufacturer’s manual.

Categorise the posts and assign the category to a private page.

Private Role

When editing your new post set it’s visibility, assigning it to the private role.

WordPress record how to tasks private visibility

The role is set within the Publush section at the top right of the screen.

To assign the role to the post click on edit at the end of the visibility entry to show the series of radio buttons: Public; Password protected and Private.

Select Private, as shown in the image above and click on OK.

Post Category

Assigning posts to specific categories allows for different pages to reflect specific content.

To make the info articles easier to find and to help on their presentation on a page we’ll assign them to a new category?

WordPress record how to tasks add category

To create a new WordPress posts category click on the Add new Category link. Enter the name of the category and then click on the grey button below Add New Category.

If the category exists ensure that the check box is ticked.

Extending the Idea

Extending the idea further there are plugins available to provide further role tours.

With the addition of further user roles information may be better targeted to the website members.

Membership plugins can be used to govern access to restricted pages. Pages show a login/register form dialogue if the page visitor isn’t logged.

 

Un-schedule a Scheduled Post

After configuring a scheduled publishing date for a WordPress post I found that I wanted to cancel the schedule.

My preference had changed to instantly publishing the post, when I was ready.

For a WordPress post, which is yet to be published, there is the option to configure a Publish on date.

Whilst the scheduled post date can be ignored, until it comes to publishing, the scheduled post date affects the order in which posts are listed on the All Posts page.

I have also found that posts with a timing set in the past don’t show up in the list of posts as expected. They appear further down the list behind the other posts.

Omitting to change the post date can lead to posts appearing ‘out of sequence’ or not at all, if your scheduling isn’t working.

Some hosting companies configure their servers such that the mechanism used by WordPress to trigger events such as schedules and updates doesn’t work.

If you find yourself in this situation then you may wish to unschedule a post.

Whilst researching for this post I found that if a post had not been saved then the schedule could be canceled.

Other options regards un-scheduling the post.

Ignore it

Ignore the fact that the schedule exists.

When it comes to publishing the post amend the date and time appropriately to a few minutes before the current time.

Check the server time given on the Settings>General page under Timezone.

Change Status

I experimented with scheduling the post and then changing the status.

My Preferred Option

I decided in the end that the best option, for me,  was to set the scheduled date to some months in the future. This would keep it readily available in the list of posts.

Once I was ready to publish the post I could set it to my preferred future scheduled date, or an hour before for an instant publish.